Death of Milan Kundera (12 July 2023)


The Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, was deeply saddened to hear the news of Milan Kundera’s death and extends her sincerest condolences to his wife Věra and his family and close friends.

With Milan Kundera’s passing, the world of letters has lost one of its most eminent representatives, and both France and the Czech Republic one of their leading intellectual and moral authorities.

A fervent defender of culture as a bulwark against totalitarianism, after the failure of the Prague Spring he never stopped questioning the turbulent history of the countries of Central Europe, the “kidnapped West” that he wanted to free from its enslavement.

Milan Kundera chose France, where he settled definitively in 1975, as his second homeland. He always saw himself above all as a novelist. Author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being and many very great novels, he received the Grand Prix de Littérature de l’Académie française for his entire body of work in 2001. One of the few writers to see his work published in the Pléiade in their lifetime, he left a profound mark on world literature and contributed to the French language’s influence around the globe.

The whole leadership of the Ministry pays tribute to his memory with sadness and a deep sense of gratitude.